Kavenaugh probably perjured himself.
How We Know Kavanaugh Is Lying
Nathan J. Robinson / Current Affairs
— This man should not serve another day as any kind of judge… On Thursday morning, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Christine Blasey Ford detailed under oath her claim that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attacked her and sexually violated her when he was 17.
Themis, Goddess of Justice
There is either something Ironic or Orwellian in the spectacle of a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States of America making accusations of conspiracy and attacking the entire opposition political party. And, if anyone believes that the histrionic, over-the-top, always attack/never defend performance of Mark Kavanaugh exhibits a “judicial temperament” then there is no hope for reason. It’s all and ONLY about Pavlovian/Skinnerian conditioning and we happy rats will all learn to pull the right lever. That was the lesson of 2016, after all.
It doesn’t matter whether you believe Dr. Ford or you disbelieve Dr. Ford. The point is, as they say, moot.
Mark Kavanaugh is not qualified to sit on the United States Supreme Court.
If you go along with a significant minority of Americans (and put aside the blatantly “stacked” or “kangaroo” court aspect of the proceedings) and utterly ignore every single word that Dr. Ford uttered, Judge Kavanaugh disqualified himself as a potential Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Whether or not he is qualified for the GOP Supreme Court (the “Bush v. Gore” one that we have lived with for these many years) is another matter.
I’m going to kneel down on the steps of the Parthenon and, on behalf of the Western Civilization that has sparked to life since this was built and beg you to recall John McCain’s presidential slogan in 2008: country first.
But, since we are a notionality and not a nationality, our “country” is a country of ideas.
Of norms and standards that, while not written in stone or enacted with force of law, are NECESSARY for a nation of self-governance.
Since Kavanaugh and Roberts, Thomas, etc. are Originalists (i.e. you must interpret the Constitution as it would have been interpreted when written, which is a big headache for satellite communications cases — see end of post for mini-essay on Originalism), let’s pretend to stand in the shoes of the Founding Fathers and listen to a nominee for the Supreme Court rant and stomp and cry and accuse … as his justification for a seat on said Court.
But Kavanaugh is an honorable man.
As his original hearings proved, he is a man who will not willingly answer any question put to him that isn’t a softball lobbed by his friends on the Committee. And that continued into the new “on steroids” version of Judge Kavanaugh, all but screaming:
In a letter to this committee, my former students — male and female alike — wrote that I displayed “a character that impressed us all.” I loved teaching law. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.
For the past seven years, I’ve coached my two daughters’ basketball teams. You saw many of those girls when they came to my hearing for a couple of hours. You have a letter from the parents of the girls I coach, that describe my dedication, commitment and character.
I coach because I know that a girl’s confidence on the basketball court translates into confidence in other aspects of life. I love coaching more than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.
What is “judicial temperament”? The American Bar Association defines it as having “compassion, decisiveness, open-mindedness, sensitivity, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias and commitment to equal justice.”
wrote James E. Duffy, associate Justice of the Hawai’i Supreme Court for Law Day.
Contrast that with this: Senator Amy Klobichar asks (in a hearing about an allegation of ATTEMPTED RAPE) if Kavanaugh has ever drunk so much alcohol that he blacked out (never mind that Klobichar had just told him about her father’s alcoholism as a point of commonality). Mr. Judicial Temperament answers a woman AND a United States Senator thusly:
KLOBUCHAR: OK. Drinking is one thing, but the concern is about truthfulness, and in your written testimony, you said sometimes you had too many drinks. Was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn’t remember what happened, or part of what happened the night before?
KAVANAUGH: No, I — no. I remember what happened, and I think you’ve probably had beers, Senator, and — and so I…
KLOBUCHAR: So you’re saying there’s never been a case where you drank so much that you didn’t remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened.
KAVANAUGH: It’s — you’re asking about, you know, blackout. I don’t know. Have you?
KLOBUCHAR: Could you answer the question, Judge? I just — so you — that’s not happened. Is that your answer?
KAVANAUGH: Yeah, and I’m curious if you have.
KLOBUCHAR: I have no drinking problem, Judge.
KAVANAUGH: Yeah, nor do I.
KLOBUCHAR: OK, thank you.
But Kavanaugh is an honorable man.
During the break, someone told him, evidently, that it wasn’t exactly “judicial temperament” and Kavanaugh apologized.
Well and good, except that he never ought to have had to, since he ought never to have behaved so disrespectfully.
And yet, Kavanaugh is an honorable man.
Duffy continues, further down:
Our system of justice depends on our citizen’s faith and trust that judges will decide disputes fairly and impartially, free from bias or prejudice. Out of respect for the system of justice and the judge’s position in this system, judges have traditionally been accorded respect by our citizens. In return, judges must respect all those they interact with, including the parties to the dispute, their attorneys, witnesses, jurors, court reporters, staff and members of the public.
How can any ‘Democrat’ believe that their case will be heard fairly and impartially after this:
The behavior of several of the Democratic members of this committee at my hearing a few weeks ago was an embarrassment. But at least it was just a good old-fashioned attempt at Borking.
Robert Bork, the sleazeball who fired Archibald
Cox when no one else in the Justice Department
would do it, who destroyed antitrust law, and
who turned being rejected as a Supreme Court
Justice into a cottage industry that he LIVED off
of for decades after the fact until he died in 2012.
Those efforts didn’t work. When I did at least OK enough at the hearings that it looked like I might actually get confirmed, a new tactic was needed.
Some of you were lying in wait and had it ready. This first allegation was held in secret for weeks by a Democratic member of this committee, and by staff. It would be needed only if you couldn’t take me out on the merits.
When it was needed, this allegation was unleashed and publicly deployed over Dr. Ford’s wishes. And then — and then as no doubt was expected — if not planned — came a long series of false last-minute smears designed to scare me and drive me out of the process before any hearing occurred.
Crazy stuff. Gangs, illegitimate children, fights on boats in Rhode Island. All nonsense, reported breathlessly and often uncritically by the media.
This has destroyed my family and my good name. A good name built up through decades of very hard work and public service at the highest levels of the American government.
a “high-tech lynching”?
This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election. Fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons. And millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.*
This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions, from serving our country.
* NOTE: Republican groups ponied up millions of dollars as well. This is a patent case of the pot calling the kettle black. Or, rather, the preppy calling the entitled WASP white:
- Judicial Crisis Network to launch $1.5M pro-Kavanaugh ad campaign
Note that the JCN is, itself a dark money group contributed to by OTHER dark money groups.
- NRA says it’ll spend at least $1 million on pro-Kavanaugh ads
With Russian money, perhaps?
- Kavanaugh Fight Draws Millions in Lobbying Dollars on Both Sides
But Kavanaugh is an honorable man.
Justice Duffy concludes his essay on judicial behavior with this:
To me, having a “good judicial temperament” is thus not a matter of personality but a matter of commitment to be the embodiment of justice by showing respect to all one interacts with. If shown genuine respect by our judges, our citizens will continue to place their faith and trust in our judicial system, which is a cornerstone of our democratic form of government. [emphasis added]
Not merely the cornerstone. The KEYstone. If we do not believe in our system, it ceases to be, just like our paper money and our deeds to property. If belief vanishes, the strong take what they want and so on down to those who are stomped into nothingness at the bottom of the Darwinian heap.
Does THIS sound like a Supreme Court Justice to you:
WHITEHOUSE: And did the world “ralph” you used in your yearbook…
KAVANAUGH: I already — I already answered…
WHITEHOUSE: … refer (ph) to alcohol?
KAVANAUGH: … the question. If you’re…
WHITEHOUSE: Did it relate to alcohol? You haven’t answered that.
KAVANAUGH: I like beer. I like beer. I don’t know if you do…
KAVANAUGH: … do you like beer, Senator, or not?
WHITEHOUSE: Um, next…
KAVANAUGH: What do you like to drink?
WHITEHOUSE: Next one is…
KAVANAUGH: Senator, what do you like to drink?
WHITEHOUSE: … Judge, have you — I don’t know if it’s “boufed” or “boofed” — how do you pronounce that?
KAVANAUGH: That refers to flatulence. We were 16.
WHITEHOUSE: OK. And so when your friend Mark Judge said the same — put the same thing in his yearbook page back to you, he had the same meaning? It was flatulence?
KAVANAUGH: I don’t know what he did, but that’s my recollection. We want to talk about flatulence at age 16 on a yearbook page, I’m — I’m game.
Aside from its snotty disingenuousness, the hearing SEEMED to confirm not so much that Kavanaugh was a jerk and a bully in high school, but that he hasn’t actually moved beyond it.
And Kavanaugh is an honorable man.
Let’s take a moment to listen to one of the House Managers of the Clinton Impeachment throwing a hissy fit and having the vapors for the benefit of his (seemingly incipient) Attorney General candidacy:
GRAHAM: If you wanted a FBI investigation, you could have come to us. What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020. You’ve said that, not me. You’ve got nothing to apologize for.
When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello because I voted for them. I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy.
Are you a gang rapist?
GRAHAM: I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through.
Boy, you all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford; none.
She’s as much of a victim as you are. God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends. But let me tell you, when it comes to this, you’re looking for a fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend. Do you consider this a job interview?
KAVANAUGH: If (ph) the advice and consent role is like a job interview.
GRAHAM: Do you consider that you’ve been through a job interview?
KAVANAUGH: I’ve been through a process of advice and consent under the Constitution, which…
GRAHAM: Would you say you’ve been through hell?
KAVANAUGH: I — I’ve been through hell and then some.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive! – Sir Walter Scott
GRAHAM: This is not a job interview.
GRAHAM: This is hell.
KAVANAUGH: This — this…
GRAHAM: This is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this crap. Your high school yearbook — you have interacted with professional women all your life, not one accusation.
You’re supposed to be Bill Cosby when you’re a junior and senior in high school. And all of a sudden, you got over it. It’s been my understanding that if you drug women and rape them for two years in high school, you probably don’t stop.
Here’s my understanding, if you lived a good life people would recognize it, like the American Bar Association has, the gold standard. His integrity is absolutely unquestioned. He is the very circumspect in his personal conduct, harbors no biases or prejudices. He’s entirely ethical, is a really decent person. He is warm, friendly, unassuming. He’s the nicest person — the ABA.
The one thing I can tell you should be proud of — Ashley, you should be proud of this — that you raised a daughter who had the good character to pray for Dr. Ford.
Of COURSE we’re holier than thou!
To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics. You want this seat? I hope you never get it.
I hope you’re on the Supreme Court, that’s exactly where you should be. And I hope that the American people will see through this charade. And I wish you well. And I intend to vote for you and I hope everybody who’s fair-minded will.
The one potentially fatal rhetorical tool that the Republican Party absorbed when it absorbed the former Segregationist/Dixiecrats was the Southern corn-pone ability to recite in dulcet tones and seeming gravelly charm the most INSANE PROPOSITIONS EVER CONSIDERED BY THE MIND OF MAN.
This is certainly evident in Mr. Graham’s carpet chewing temper tantrum, which concludes with the quaint notion (implied) that this tirade was what ANY “fair minded” person would spout.
Foghorn Leghorn gots nothing on Lord Lindsey. (The Huckabees, as well, seem blessed with this malodorous “skill”)
Somehow in Graham’s truculent petulance, ALL virtues (including being the “protectors” of Dr. Ford) are on his side, and ALL vices are on the opposition’s. Quite the pretzel logick, that.
A just and merciful deity would never allow it onto a Supreme Court, of course. Then again, one might argue against the existence of such a being, using Graham’s slithery snake oil as exhibit A.
But back to our focus:
Irrespective of his legal qualifications, Judge Kavanaugh has disqualified himself on TEMPERAMENT grounds.
Just ask yourself: who, in a job interview, BEHAVES like this? Kavanaugh seems to see his Justiceship as an entitlement and NOT as a sacred obligation to show a “judicial temperament.” Instead, he shows blatant political bias, a sickening sort of self-pity — that was anathema to the ‘Greatest Generation’ of Americans so recently departed from us, “unmanly” — and a juvenile petulance generally reserved for Trust Fund Babies in their dealings with the help. Never mind the unsubtle misogyny he showed to his female interrogators.
And let’s talk about the thousand-pound gorilla in the room: the violation — in a spiritual sense if not a literal one — of the Constitutional dictum:
… but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
— Article VI, Clause 3
Kavanaugh’s Catholicism, like Roberts’ Catholicism, like Alito’s Catholicism is an INTENTIONAL tactic to, seemingly, make sure that the Roman Catholic Church’s virulent anti-abortion, anti-contraception position on women’s rights remains entrenched*. There is zero doubt on this issue. Which means, in essence, that a clear religious test has been applied by the GOPs to attempt to ensure their jihad against Roe v. Wade and, ultimately, Griswold v. Connecticut.**
(* As such, the GOP has long displayed an almost complete lack of understanding of American Catholicism, who have steadfastly refused to obey papal dictates on contraception and abortion since the late 19th Century whence said prohibitions arose. Previous Catholic doctrine, dating from St. Augustine, was remarkably similar to Roe v. Wade. Pope Leo XIII, when not resuscitating Medieval Thomism and drinking cocaine-infused wine, took the time to reverse Catholic teaching and create the current ‘pro-life’ position that has caused the church and its adherents such misery, having “issued a second degree in 1886 that prohibited all procedures that directly killed the fetus, even if done to save the woman’s life.” NY TIMES, 1 AUG 1993: “Pope John Paul II, has made the condemnation of contraception a pillar of his papacy.” )
Leo XIII liked his cocaine-infused wine so much
that he officially endorsed it in advertisements.
(** If you don’t know what that last case is, I would suggest that you look it up. It is a crucial piece of this lunatic puzzle to, in essence, effect a permanent “Originalist” heresy coup of the Supreme Court.)
A “religious test” HAS been applied here, whether I’m the only commentator to notice it or not.
An old legal concept is “the poisoned fruit of the poisoned tree.” It means that evidence obtained illegally is illegal, in essence. This entire NOMINATION is the poisoned fruit of an attempt to suborn the Court on a single case, for religious reasons and for a religious voting bloc. That’s the thousand pound gorilla in the room.
That the process has been hurried, unfair, filled with coverups, artificial deadlines and a sense of entitlement somewhere between a Sioux war party collecting scalps in the aftermath of battle and a Brett Kavanaugh prep school drinking party (allegedly).
The one truth that stands above all others is that JUSTICE itself is the one getting pissed on, never mind reported shenanigans in Moscow hotel rooms. This is, no matter the outcome, a deep and ugly stain on the soul of the nation. It is an event that future Texas School Boards will be certain to suppress from their curriculum.
Of course, looking through the funhouse mirror of current political sophistry, with a soupçon of tu quoque and some convenient false equivalencies, somehow this barbaric and juvenile behavior is supposed to qualify Kavanaugh? Of course, quoth the GOPs, in yet another unselfconscious reprise of Aristophanes’ The Frogs.
On the other hand, what was the last time you behaved like this at a job interview and got the job?
In Trumpworld, the slightest whiff of competence or expertise is an absolute disqualifier, which, perhaps, explains why Kavanaugh stands in such good stead with an America that has forgotten what it stands for. Nothing, but nothing can stand in the way of imaginary babies enslaving real women into biological servitude.
Not even law.
Let’s be clear what this is all about: The Republican Party, having sold its electoral soul to the “evangelicals” (which arguably is a synonym for “heretical Christianity”) disparages science, climate change, evolution and ecology. Most importantly, the “murder of babies” is the reason (and, in many cases) the ONLY reason that GOPs voted for Trump, and the vote to kill Roe v. Wade MUST be placed on the Court in time to overrule it by next June.
Nothing else matters.
Which explains the astonishing spectacle of cheating, mendacity and false “deadlines” that we’re witnessing.
I would be remiss did I not mention that Kavanaugh’s histrionics were undoubtedly scripted and the result of a specific strategy by his handlers (and himself, ultimately) to “defend” his nominations by behaving like a whiny, self-entitled brat. HE is the victim (not the fifteen year old girl) HE is the offended party.
NOW he can’t teach law or coach girls’ basketball EVER EVER AGAIN! (How come nobody is calling them on this outrageous persiflage, this phony martyrdom and this “lifetime” sentence that exists only in Kavanaugh’s fevered imagination and doesn’t translate in value as either a jot OR a tittle?)
Attempted rape? No. It’s all about HIM. Kavanaugh the VICTIM! Kavanaugh the OPPRESSED! Kavanaugh the CHEATED ON!
Were this a movie, this would be the moment that John Wayne would grab Kavanaugh by the collar and slap the fellow several times across the mouth:
Snap out of it Pilgrim! You’re hysterical!
In America, Judge Kavanaugh is temperamentally and factually disqualified, and, hopefully, his perjury will force him off the bench he NOW occupies.
In Trumpworld he’ll be the next Supreme Court justice.
I guess here’s your early Christmas present, courtesy of the Handmaid’s Tale GOPpers:
Coming soon to a courtroom near you.
To repeat Justice Duffy:
If shown genuine respect by our judges, our citizens will continue to place their faith and trust in our judicial system, which is a cornerstone of our democratic form of government.
And by Senators. We are so screwed.
But Kavanaugh is an honorable man. As are they all, “honorable men.”
End Note: WHY ORIGINALISM IS IMPOSSIBLE
Turn back to that time before you learned to read. See if you can look at these letters and not see words, and, therefore, meanings.
You cannot do it. Not even if it were the worst news in the world to you.
Likewise you cannot dispense with 240 plus years of collected knowledge and accumulated knowledge and tradition. Knowledge is progressive, and, short of brain and/or mental trauma you cannot forget all of the building blocks of knowledge that brought you to THIS point, today.
(And we forget the nearly infinite number of small advances that make our world and our thought profoundly different than theirs: different data, different solutions, different understandings, different priorities. It is impossible for any human to return to that “thinking” and come to Constitutional solutions as thought it were a new sampling library in a sampler:
New Sample Series: “The Founding Fathers” sixteen presets and five combos with three bonus duet settings. Thirty seven FFs meticulously sampled in their original preserved locations. Video tutorials included at no extra charge. Special sale — seven days only!
It is impossible to think in terms of the time of the Constitution’s ratification in the manner that they did. We KNOW that you can go to the moon. The founding fathers generally thought you ‘teched in the head if you wondered if such a thing were possible.
We can no more access the “thinking” of the Founding Fathers directly than we can channel the precise thoughts of a Cro-magnon shaman on a midsummer’s midnight under cloudy skies but a full moon.
The more you contemplate this situation, the progressively loonier it will appear to you. THIS is how we interpret Constitutional law? Alas, yes and moreso.
To base a philosophy of law on this shamanistic hocus-pocus and not on the here-and-now is a Manichean act, pure and simple.
This isn’t a difficult epistemology: We know what we know.
What we know is entirely different than what THEY knew.
Even could we access their “thoughts” why SHOULD we?
We can fly to any continent our budget provides for.
They couldn’t fly to the next town. And so forth….
Air conditioning; clean water, general lack of parasites (lice, fleas, etc.), television, computers, the internet, weather satellites, automobiles, worldwide transfer of funds, laser beams. Computer games, fresh fruit in all seasons, refrigeration, plastics, smart phones, mp3 players, FM radio, interstates and watches and on and on and on and on.
On the other hand: they fought the first year of the Revolution almost entirely without gunpowder.
Our world is profoundly DIFFERENT than theirs.
Oughtn’t we LIVE in IT? ‘
Kavanaugh is an Originalist. (For all practical intents and purposes.)